Sony MDR-10R Bluetooth Headphones Review
The headphones I use everyday with my Walkman are the MDR-NC033Es which came with my E580. They serve their purpose quite well, are portable and minimize outside noise quite well. I needed new large headphones since I gave away my MDR-V55s to my younger nephew and was now left without anything for home use. I had a few options, first go for the Walkman WH-Series and use it headphones and have it as a standalone Walkman when I didn't want to take my E-Series. Second option was a small Bluetooth capable set, something along the lines of the Sony SBH80, SBH52 or SBH50 but the first one was not out yet and I don't think the sound quality of the headphones would be better than my NC033s.
So the final option was something else, perhaps wireless and with noise cancellation built in, something to use on my Xperia Z1 but have it wireless and with noise cancellation, but nothing like that in Europe from Sony. So I ended up looking at other Bluetooth enabled headphones, MDR-1RBT was way too expensive and way too bulky, any other model was designed for home use only and not very portable or light weight, others were not available in store or were back ordered on most websites. The only option were the MDR-10Rs
Rest of the review after the break.
The MDR-10s are my first Bluetooth headphones, I never used any before and always thougth the sound quality would be inferior due to the compression but I was surprised.
I tried on the non-Bluetooth MDR-10Rs in the store and the ear cushions felt a bit small and did not cover my entire ears, so I was worried this would be the case with the Bluetooth version. I was not sure why the store model was smaller than in photos of the MDR-10RBT but I took a chance and bought them, if anything I'd return them.
Arriving home I quickly opened the box and was pleasantly surprised that they were different than the store model I tried on and were much larger and would cover my entire ears.
The box the headphones came was actually quite nice and felt premium unlike my MDR-V55s packaging. Weight wise, the headphones are a bit heavy but not so much that they feel uncomfortable. At
Build quality is excellent, the construction is all plastic but doesn't look cheap. I like the matte finish of the fake metal and the cushions are soft and comfortable around the head. Unlike my V55s, the MDR-10Rs do not squeeze my head as much and I can wear them for much longer.
Inside the box comes a 1.2m long cable to attach to the headphones to used them wired, a standard USB charging cable and a carrying pouch. Charging takes 2.5hrs before fully charged and should last about 17 hours according to Sony. On the right side of the headphones is the volume control,, forwards, backwards, play/pause controls. On the left side is the USB port, microphone, power button, and 3.5mm jack to add the cable for wired use.
Pairing them with my Z1 was no problem thanks to NFC
but pairing them with my Vaio Pro 13 is cumbersome sometimes with the computer searching and searching before finding them. It seems the NFC function on the Vaio doesn't work with the headphones, boo Sony. Correction, once I paired the headphones with the Vaio Pro 13 once, all that is required to repair them is placing the NFC logo near the trackpad with NFC and the headphones pair automatically.
Edit, just used the headphones wired, funny how 15Hz make such a difference on the low end, deep base is present and amazing.
Sound quality is much softer than my MDR-V55s which had much deeper base I feel but then too much is not always good, I feel the MDR-10Rs are more balanced when it comes to sound and the sound feels less distorted. Distance wise, I was able to get at least 8 m from laptop with no problems of sound cutting out or anything. Even a wall or 2 was not able to cut the sound.
One aspect that perhaps might irritate some, is that unlike the standard MDR-10RC model, the Bluetooth version do not fold at the top and only swivel to lie flat, but this is a minor issue.
Overall I a very satisfied with this purchase and would highly recommend these over the 1Rs any day, price and portability.
I end with a small surprise or something to look forward to. I have ordered another pair of headphones for my Z1, the MDR-NWBT20N. I hope to have them this upcoming week or next since my brother has informed they arrived in Canada and he will be sending them out soon to me here in Poland. I can't wait to test them with my Z1, they are what I need to replace my current Walkman, so hopefully they live up to my expectations. So stay tuned for another review.